The Aesthetic Unconscious
February 2010, Polity
In order for Freud to use the Oedipus complex as a means for the interpretation of texts, it was necessary first of all for a particular notion of Oedipus, belonging to the Romantic reinvention of Greek antiquity, to have produced a certain idea of the power of that thought which does not think, and the power of that speech which remains silent.
From this it does not follow that the Freudian unconscious was already prefigured by the aesthetic unconscious. Freud's 'aesthetic' analyses reveal instead a tension between the two forms of unconscious. In this concise and brilliant text Rancière brings out this tension and shows us what is at stake in this confrontation.
Shoshana Felman, Author of Testimony (Crises of Witnessing), and The Juridical Unconscious
"Ranciere offers a fascinating new optic through which to read psychoanalysis, and his original positioning of Freud in relation to art and literature is valuable in a field where partisan defences and blanket dismissals tend to hold sway."
The Philosophers' Magazine